Time to end the debate: Bharat Ratna for Sachin?
Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: Cricket`s living legend Sachin Tendulkar may be conferred the country`s highest civilian award `Bharat Ratna` on Republic Day with reports on Friday suggesting that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has already made a recommendation to President Pranab Mukherjee in this regard.
According to reports, several sportsmen and politicians, including Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajiv Shukla, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and many others, have backed the move for giving `Bharat Ratna` to Sachin - possibly the biggest icon of the sport.
"He is retiring from cricket after making several records that will not be broken for the next 100 years and has earned respect and reputation worldwide. Although I can`t say anything in this regard, the final decision will be of the President," MoS PMO V Narayansamy was quoted as saying.
Sources have also confirmed that several recommendations backing Tendulkar`s name have already been made to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Prime Minister`s Office.
No formal recommendation is required for `Bharat Ratna` with the Prime Minister himself forwarding Sachin`s name to the President.
No one was recommended for the `Bharat Ratna` in 2011 or 2012 although the PMO received 64 pitching for Sachin ahead of the Republic Day in 2011.
The rules were changed in 2010 to allow the highest civilian honour to be given to anyone for exceptional services in any field.
Awards and felicitations have been pouring on the iconic batsman, who is playing his 200th and final Test match against West Indies in the Mumbai`s Wankhede Stadium.
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Monday honoured Sachin by naming its Kandivili Ground after him in the presence of a host of political bigwigs.
The Mumbaikar dwelled on his cricketing career which has spanned an incredible 24 years.
Tendulkar became India`s first active sportsperson to become a Member of Parliament in June 2012.
In view of the growing clamour for giving Bharat Ratna to Sachin, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajiv Shukla yesterday hinted that the Centre can actually consider the demands since Tendulkar is hanging his boots.
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